It's all rubbish

About removing rubbish and plastics that are suffocating our world requires some dirty work. The mission is to sort out typical recycling bins from regular household rubbish by learning and understanding the markings of different “recycling” items.

Read More

The look into rubbish required exploring the type of rubbish found in our school and the village.

After collecting the school's rubbish, we graphed the items we found. It was discovered that there was a significant number of chip/snack wrappers gathered, more than any other type of rubbish. This is likely due to its lightweight material and ability to fly great distances. 

The village provided different results. In a 1.5km street walk, we collected a wide range of materials, a lot of small plastic pieces, plastic from a wide range of things in the grass, in the bushes, in the gutter, in the drains and even in the dirt. We found a dumped office chair and an old hand-painted sign from the dairy. We estimate our collection to be about 25kgs of rubbish.

Villiage rubbish collection

There are a lot of different types of plastic that we use at home.

I wonder why we only recycle type 1, 2, and 5 plastic items. We should stop making the other kinds if we can’t recycle them.

Silicon and Plastic straws didn’t change. The silicon straw was very floppy and weird in texture.

The water didn’t change the straw at all. Plastic straws can remain liquid for more than seven days without any change.

Like the paper straws I’ve used, they became soft and squishy.

The steel ones got extremely hot and extremely cold. This might be dangerous.

Bamboo straw shocked me. It swelled in the cold water, and you wouldn’t be able to use it more than once.

It was fluffy in texture, didn’t have a smell but was smooth to touch.

Polymer results shocked us

This feels amazing. I want to take it home, it's cold and wet, but it is dry.

It was such an exciting sensation to touch. It felt like it should be wet but dry like powder.

They started so small and, over time, absorbed the water, which caused them to grow.

Orbeez after 24 hours
Orbeez after 24 hours

They were slimy, bouncy and easy to crush

Gelatin crystrals
Gelatin crystrals

It went from looking like rice that we added water to solid jelly-like material overnight.

Lastly, we wanted to see if we could make plastic out of cornstarch, which is natural and biodegradable. We set out to make plastic, and we are surprised it makes something that feels like plastic. It would be good to see if we could make bowls.

Making plastic
Making plastic

It has hardened and feels more like bendable plastic. It is no longer stretchy or rubbery.

I can’t believe it is technically edible.

I can make plastic in the microwave. That is so easy.

2024 Chauval

Angel Chauval

Wairakei Primary school has a wonderful rural environment and an amazing community. I enjoy working with this community to help students rise to succeed. Learning happens everywhere and is different for every child, celebrating and challenging students is my drive as a teacher.

I strive to encourage every student to achieve to the best of their ability. My passions are Technology and Science. I use them as foundations in unlocking excitement and wonder to produce thinkers and creators.

Comments are disabled for this post.

Ready to enrol now? It's risk free